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2WheelPenguin
April 16th, 2012, 07:57 PM
Sorry if this has been covered somewhere before, forum search/Google search didn't come up with anything. It's kind of spooky how little information there is available out there on how to set up a graphical desktop from scratch on Ubuntu.
Ubuntu Server 10.04, 64-bit, running on an HP DL580 G4. Everything was working fine, with ubuntu-desktop installed. After weekend storms took power out, brought the system back online, disks, external connections, everything is fine, but no desktop/GDM login.
I've tried:

restarting gdm

dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg (apparently this does nothing anymore?)

removing & re-installing the xserver-xorg packages

& various other suggested solutions, none of which work.

I'm ashamed to say, I can't figure out how to totally remove & reinstall all the GUI components of the server, hopefully that would give me a working desktop again like it did when the system was originally set up.

If anyone can point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

arrrghhh
April 16th, 2012, 08:08 PM
It's kind of spooky how little information there is available out there on how to set up a graphical desktop from scratch on Ubuntu.

That's because Ubuntu already provides a GUI. It's called Ubuntu Desktop.

If you want a GUI, install Ubuntu Desktop. If you want CLI and a server, install Ubuntu Server.

There's really no point/advantage to installing Ubuntu Server just to throw a GUI on it...

2WheelPenguin
April 16th, 2012, 08:17 PM
I'm aware of that. It's much easier to do maintenance of VirtualBox at the local console with the GUI installed, that's why it's installed. What I'm trying to do is figure out how to actually completely remove & re-install everything involved in ubuntu-desktop, so I can get my server desktop working again.

thanks

arrrghhh
April 16th, 2012, 08:41 PM
I'm aware of that. It's much easier to do maintenance of VirtualBox at the local console with the GUI installed, that's why it's installed. What I'm trying to do is figure out how to actually completely remove & re-install everything involved in ubuntu-desktop, so I can get my server desktop working again.

thanks

Sounds like a fresh install of Ubuntu Desktop is in order. Honestly, it's not worth the effort to put a DE on Ubuntu Server, just install the Desktop edition.

As for managing VirtualBox, you know that you can forward X apps over SSH without having a DE installed, yes? That's what I use if I'm too lazy for VBoxManage...

darkod
April 16th, 2012, 08:43 PM
I haven't tried it, but purging and reinstalling should work if that's what you want:
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

2WheelPenguin
April 16th, 2012, 09:06 PM
Sounds like a fresh install of Ubuntu Desktop is in order. Honestly, it's not worth the effort to put a DE on Ubuntu Server, just install the Desktop edition.

As for managing VirtualBox, you know that you can forward X apps over SSH without having a DE installed, yes? That's what I use if I'm too lazy for VBoxManage...

Sorry, I guess I didn't quite phrase my question properly.
What I'm really trying to figure out is how to make Ubuntu do (again) whatever hardware probing & xserver setup it does automatically after you install ubuntu-desktop, so it will re-generate a working xserver configuration. Apparently xorg.conf is no longer relevant.
I'm perfectly happy with running my X apps remotely, however, there are other people who need to start/stop/restart the VirtualBox systems on this server, & they need to be able to just log onto the local console X session & do it the simple way in the interests of being user friendly.

2WheelPenguin
April 16th, 2012, 09:10 PM
I haven't tried it, but purging and reinstalling should work if that's what you want:
sudo apt-get remove --purge ubuntu-desktop
sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

If only it could be that simple! That doesn't actually force the removal & re-installation of all the GUI packages. I wish it would, because I think that might solve the problem.
Used to be it was simple to just run a script to reconfigure the X server, not so much anymore.

lykwydchykyn
April 16th, 2012, 09:18 PM
Sorry, I guess I didn't quite phrase my question properly.
What I'm really trying to figure out is how to make Ubuntu do (again) whatever hardware probing & xserver setup it does automatically after you install ubuntu-desktop, so it will re-generate a working xserver configuration. Apparently xorg.conf is no longer relevant.


It does this automatically whenever X is started now. xorg.conf is only a static override if you need it.

If it's not working right, check out /var/log/Xorg.0.log for lines tagged with [EE], that should get you started finding the error.

arrrghhh
April 16th, 2012, 09:48 PM
If only it could be that simple! That doesn't actually force the removal & re-installation of all the GUI packages. I wish it would, because I think that might solve the problem.
Used to be it was simple to just run a script to reconfigure the X server, not so much anymore.

Install Ubuntu Desktop, problem solved then.

Do NOT install the Server Edition and then apt-get install ubuntu-desktop. That is a waste of time and resources. Just go straight for the Desktop Edition.

kgatan
April 16th, 2012, 09:48 PM
I'm aware of that. It's much easier to do maintenance of VirtualBox at the local console with the GUI installed, that's why it's installed. What I'm trying to do is figure out how to actually completely remove & re-install everything involved in ubuntu-desktop, so I can get my server desktop working again.

thanks

If your only reason to have a GUI is virtualbox you can run it headless and use "phpvirtualbox" as admin gui.
Its an ajax based web interface that from my experience works great.

2WheelPenguin
April 16th, 2012, 10:19 PM
If your only reason to have a GUI is virtualbox you can run it headless and use "phpvirtualbox" as admin gui.
Its an ajax based web interface that from my experience works great.

Actually, my only reasons for having a GUI are

1: So that non linux geeks can do things on the server console/desktop.

2: I have some legacy VMs that will only run under VMWare Player, which doesn't have a command line interface to start/stop the virtual machines. These also have to be started/restarted sometimes by non geeks, it's just easier if there's a desktop available on the server itself. I don't like it, that's just how it has to be.

I will check into the PHPvirtualbox thing, sounds useful. Thanks!

arrrghhh
April 16th, 2012, 10:28 PM
Actually, my only reasons for having a GUI are

Why are you against installing Ubuntu Desktop then?

I say use what works best for you. I use Ubuntu Server because it doesn't have a GUI. If you want a GUI, then don't use Ubuntu Server, go with Ubuntu Desktop...

I think you'll find yourself much happier. No more trying to fit that round peg into that square hole ;).

lykwydchykyn
April 16th, 2012, 10:39 PM
If you're interested in fixing your current install, you can always post /var/log/Xorg.0.log here and maybe someone can help you decipher what's wrong.

CharlesA
April 17th, 2012, 02:46 AM
As for managing VirtualBox, you know that you can forward X apps over SSH without having a DE installed, yes? That's what I use if I'm too lazy for VBoxManage...

I prefer phpvirtualbox but that's cuz I'm lazy and I'm not that good with VBoxManage.


If your only reason to have a GUI is virtualbox you can run it headless and use "phpvirtualbox" as admin gui.
Its an ajax based web interface that from my experience works great.

+1.


If you're interested in fixing your current install, you can always post /var/log/Xorg.0.log here and maybe someone can help you decipher what's wrong.

Indeed. :)

arrrghhh
April 17th, 2012, 03:22 AM
I prefer phpvirtualbox but that's cuz I'm lazy and I'm not that good with VBoxManage.

I've never heard of phpvirtualbox before, I shall check it out. I suck @ VBoxManage, but I can usually muttle thru it :p

CharlesA
April 17th, 2012, 03:24 AM
I've never heard of phpvirtualbox before, I shall check it out. I suck @ VBoxManage, but I can usually muttle thru it :p
I always forget what switches I need to use and ended up modifying the vbox startup script I made to include an option to start whatever vm I specify.

Heh.

The site is here:
http://code.google.com/p/phpvirtualbox/